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Drought Persists.

first_imgMoisture Short in One-third of State Soils ATHENS, Ga. — Despite recent rains, extreme drought conditionsreturned to central Georgia last week. The southern third of the state is still in severedrought. The rest of the state, except the northwest, is having mild to moderate drought.Conditions are near normal in the northwest.Regions in severe to extreme drought need 8.5 to 10 inches of rain to end the drought. Precipitation (inches), Jan-1 to Jun-29 Deviation from Normal (1961-1990) Source: Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network(For full-size map, click here.) For More Information Evapotranspiration Will Increasecenter_img You can read daily updates on the drought at the University of Georgia drought Web site (www.griffin.peachnet.edu/caes/drought/). Or contact your county extension agent. Rainfall data is from the UGA Automated Environmental Monitoring Network. Drought conditions are based on the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which is calculated by the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. Weekly rainfall totals include 0.74 inches at Dearing, 0.96 at Dublin, 0.71 at Midville, 0.51 at Statesboro and 0.52 at Vidalia. More than 3 inches was reported at Alma, Arlington, Dawson, Dixie, Pine Mountain, Savannah and Watkinsville. The Georgia Agricultural Statistical Service reports that moisture is short to very short in 33 percent of the state’s soils. Nearly two-thirds — 61 percent — of the soils have enough moisture for current needs. The cotton, peanut and soybean crops improved with the recent rains. The combined soil moisture loss through evaporation and transpiration (called evapotranspiration) was low last week. Only Calhoun, Midville, Savannah and Vidalia reported more than an inch of total loss of moisture. Total rainfall for June 22-28 ranged from 0.51 inches at Statesboro to 4.93 inches atPine Mountain. Many stations reported more than 1.5 inches during the week. However,rainfall in central Georgia was generally less than an inch. With the return to temperatures in the middle to upper 90s expected by the Fourth of July weekend, soil moisture loss through evapotranspiration will increase. It will exceed 1.5 inches this week if temperatures reach the 90s. While recent rains have brought helpful moisture to most of Georgia, the drought is still a concern, especially in the main farming regions. Even with recent rains, plants under stress don’t have a large soil moisture reserve. A hot week in the middle to upper 90s with little rain will quickly dry out the soils. Crops will then return to stress conditions.last_img read more

Clearway Energy completes work on 419MW Mesquite Star wind farm in Texas

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:US company Clearway Energy Group has brought online the 419MW Mesquite Star wind farm in Texas.The project is located in Fisher County and has long-term power purchase agreements with several corporate and institutional customers, including Ecolab, Lowe’s, Intuit and Brown University.Clearway Energy Group chief executive Craig Cornelius said: “We’re proud of the team that came together to bring this project to life. Successfully launching a project like this, at a time like this, demonstrates the durability of this industry even under the most difficult circumstances. Mesquite Star will provide clean, affordable wind power in the Lone Star State for decades to come while supporting our customers in meeting their sustainability and clean energy goals.”Ecolab senior vice president and chief sustainability officer said: “Projects like the Mesquite Star wind farm are a crucial part of creating a resilient future for all of us. Our virtual power purchase agreement with Clearway will cover 100% of our electricity use in the US and also represents an important step in Ecolab’s journey to halve its carbon emissions by 2030.”Lowe’s director of corporate sustainability Chris Cassell said: “Lowe’s is committed to reducing our carbon emissions footprint, and our agreement with Clearway Energy will help us to achieve our 2030 goal of reducing emissions by 40%. The 100MW agreement will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of all 143 Lowe’s stores in Texas.”Brown assistant provost for sustainability Stephen Porder said: “This partnership is a key part of Brown University’s goal of getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Power we purchase from Mesquite Star will offset about 30% of our campus electricity and will cut our net campus emissions by 15%.”More: 419MW Mesquite Star shines in Texas Clearway Energy completes work on 419MW Mesquite Star wind farm in Texaslast_img read more

Minority Report

first_imgFor years, Atlanta Rocks indoor climbing gym has noticed a lack of diversity both in its staff and in its clientele. That’s started to change in the last year, though. And it’s all thanks to “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”How could a Bravo reality show increase racial diversity in Atlanta’s rock climbing community? During the Housewives premiere this season, cast member Kandi Burruss went on a date with Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee, and their destination was Atlanta Rocks.After the episode aired, says gym manager David Turrentine, Atlanta Rocks saw a sharp increase in new students and members, many of whom were African American. “We got so many phone calls and so many new visitors,” he recalls. “And thankfully, Bravo still runs re-runs of the show, so every time it re-airs, we get more interest.” The episode gave the gym an opportunity to reach a wider audience, since “Housewives” regularly rakes in around three million viewers nationally. But there’s more to it than that, Turrentine insists. “All these people who watched the show, they were like, ‘This woman does it. We can do it too!’”African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans are “significantly underrepresented” in outdoor recreation relative to their populations in the U.S., reports The Outdoor Foundation, a nonprofit organization seeking to boost participation in outdoor activities. This trend has been changing in recent years, but only slightly. The foundation’s 2011 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report found that 30 percent of outdoor participants are minorities—up from 25 percent in 2007.“It’s something that we’ve noticed for years now,” says Turrentine, “so it was always a question of, what’s going on? A lot of it is a comfort zone issue, because kids who are minorities see [the outdoors] as a white-based world — that’s their impression.”Nationally, grassroots organizations such as the Center for Diversity and the Environment, Outdoor Afro, the National Hispanic Environmental Council, and  the Outdoor Foundation are trying to get more minorities connected with the natural environment. These outreach efforts seem to be working, says Christine Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. At the foundation’s second annual youth summit this summer, a majority of the young leaders who attended were minorities. “40 percent [were] African American, 30 percent Caucasian, and 30 percent [were] from other ethnicities,” Fanning reported.The Outdoor Industry Association, the trade association which runs The Outdoor Foundation, also applauds federal efforts such as the America’s Great Outdoors program. “There’s a real societal benefit to increasing participation,” says Outdoor Industry Association spokeswoman I Ling Thompson. “Healthy people cost less.” 1 2last_img read more

Guatemala and U.S. Stake Efforts on Drug Prevention

first_img The United States and Guatemala agreed on June 21 that efforts to prevent drug use should be at the center of any anti-narcotics strategy, following a meeting between Guatemalan President Otto Pérez and U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske. “We’re pleased with the emphasis that the U.S. government is putting on prevention efforts. I think that it’s a good proposal while other strategies for combating drug trafficking are debated,” President Pérez commented at a press conference at the conclusion of the meeting, held in Guatemala. “The fight against drug trafficking doesn’t have to be waged only in the area of law enforcement and security, but also in that of health and education. It’s a complex problem that we’re facing,” the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy asserted for his part. Kerlikowske was in Guatemala on a visit announced only a few hours in advance. “Efforts at prevention are important, but there also have to be efforts at treatment,” the U.S. official added. During his two-day stay, Kerlikowske is expected to visit drug rehabilitation centers. Otto Pérez surprised observers this year by proposing at international forums, such as the Summit of the Americas that took place in the Colombian city of Cartagena in April, a policy of decriminalizing drugs, in response to the failure of open warfare against drug-trafficking organizations, he said. By Dialogo June 25, 2012last_img read more

Four steps for dealing with excise tax

first_imgMay 15 was the first payment date for the 21% excise tax on annual executive compensation in excess of $1 million to any one of a CU’s top-five paid executives. The tax was part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. For some credit unions, a deferred compensation plan payout in 2018 pushed an executive’s compensation above the $1 million threshold, triggering the tax.If your credit union is in that situation, you may have been hoping that deferred compensation plans put in place before the law was passed would be grandfathered. So far, that hasn’t happened.Industry advocates, including CUNA Mutual Group, have helped garner bipartisan support for a grandfather provision. But the House and Senate are at an impasse over larger tax reform issues, so it’s unlikely this type of change will come to a vote anytime soon.It’s best to assume the excise tax will be in effect for the foreseeable future. Here are four steps you can take to mitigate its impact: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

New Manufacturing Apprenticeships in Northwestern Pennsylvania

first_img December 04, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter New Manufacturing Apprenticeships in Northwestern Pennsylvaniacenter_img Economy,  Education,  PAsmart,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Building on his commitment to expand job training, Governor Tom Wolf today announced two new apprenticeships for tool and die makers and plastic process technicians in Northwestern Pennsylvania. In partnership with the private sector, the apprenticeships will prepare workers for new jobs in the plastics and petrochemical industries in the region.“Every Pennsylvanian deserves a chance to build a rewarding career and earn a good wage,” said Governor Wolf. “These apprenticeships give students and workers hands-on experience for growing careers while earning a paycheck. It also strengthens the pipeline of talented workers that businesses need.”Apprenticeships are part of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative to invest in apprenticeships, job training and science and technology education.In Erie, a tool and die makers apprenticeship with Executool Precision Tooling was approved by the Department of Labor and Industry’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO). The Erie Institute will provide the related technical instruction.“With our state-registered Apprenticeship Program, we are investing in our workers’ future,” said Alicia Mayes, Human Resources Manager for Executool Precision Tooling. “We welcome all interested applicants to come see us at Executool today to explore apprenticeship opportunities.”In Oil City, a plastic process technician apprenticeship with Keystone Community Education Council was recently registered with the department. Twelve regional plastics manufactures collaborated on the program. With nearly 200 plastic businesses in Northwest Pennsylvania there is a need for up to 400 new plastic process technicians.“The local plastics industry has been asking for a program like this for years,” said Lance Hummer, Executive Director of the Keystone Community Education Council. “This combination of hands-on experience and classroom learning is tailored to the exact needs of our region’s injection molders.”“Pennsylvania is becoming a major player in the petrochemical industry. Between Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, we are now the second largest producer of natural gas in the world. Plastics is a major component of the petrochemical industry and there is an incredible opportunity for growth over the next decade,” added Hummer.The Wolf administration created the ATO in 2016. The office has registered 119 new sponsors and 166 new apprenticeship programs or occupations. Pennsylvania now has 16,286 registered apprentices statewide.“The ATO is creating more apprenticeship opportunities in Pennsylvania, and with new PAsmart investments providing an additional $7 million to develop and expand registered apprenticeship programs, we are working to double the number of registered apprentices in the state by 2025,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “If you are looking for a job, are thinking about a career change, or are a business that can’t seem to find enough skilled workers, I urge you to consider apprenticeships.”For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.Visit ATO for more information about apprenticeship programs and the Apprenticeship and Training Office.last_img read more

PLSA conference: Lack of honest feedback is ‘wasted value’

first_imgA lack of honest feedback from consultants to trustees on governance could be harming pension scheme member outcomes, according to Chris Hogg, chief executive of the Royal Mail Pensions Trustees.Speaking at a conference of the UK pensions trade body in Edinburgh last week, Hogg said that effective governance can generate incremental returns – much-needed in the prevailing low return environment – but in a survey carried out by the Royal Mail scheme, well over 50% of consultant and professional trustees ranked a scheme’s governance capabilities as “acceptably equipped” or below.“So there’s clearly some work to be done,” said Hogg.The survey also showed that although professional trustees and consultants tend to think that giving honest feedback is important to highly important, this feedback is uncommon. He concluded that “member benefits are at stake so we need to try to find a way” to address the issue.Paul Richards, director of strategy at consultancy firm Redington, shared the stage with Hogg and said “cold hard economics” was one of the factors behind consultants’ reluctance to provide frank feedback to clients.In a survey of consultants, 67% said the risk to the client relationship could stop them giving “critical/developmental” feedback, while 69% worried giving this type of feedback would negatively impact their ability to work effectively with the client.However, according to Redington, 86% of those surveyed said establishing that critical feedback would not affect the relationship between trustees and consultants would increase chances of doing this effectively.Richards said frameworks were needed to “build feedback into the system” and help overcome some of the concerns that were holding back consultants from giving more critical feedback.During the panel he presented an approach called “radical candour” that consultants could adopt. He said it was important that consultants introduce their chosen framework “intelligently” and that they seek permission to do so.The trustees, meanwhile, should find someone they consider a “critical friend” or a trusted adviser and also find and introduce a framework for feedback with which they feel comfortable. Research conducted on trustees and consultants found that 95% agreed that “honest dialogue” was essential for identifying and rectifying areas of weakness in scheme governance. However, nearly one in five respondents had seen no instances of consultants delivering developmental feedback, while nearly six in 10 (58%) had observed this on between just 1% and 20% of schemes they worked on.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#center_img Hogg said the survey results “quite powerful” – if not necessarily surprising.The lack of feedback represented “wasted value” and suggested that “there’s a lever that perhaps isn’t being pulled in a way that could be,” he said.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

Global conference pushes plain cigarette packaging

first_img Share 34 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Plain cigarette (Photo: thecommentator.com)PARIS, France (AFP) – Ministers from 10 countries gathered in Paris Monday to launch a common drive to introduce plain cigarette packaging with the aim of stubbing out high smoking rates among young people.Representatives from nations as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Uruguay issued a joint statement saying that “significant scientific proof justified … plain cigarette packaging”.The ministers said plain packaging had been shown to “reduce the attractiveness of the product for consumers, especially amongst women and young people” as well as increase the effectiveness of health warnings on packets.Hosting the conference, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the aim was “a world without tobacco” and that “the generation that is born today should be a generation without tobacco”.She told French radio that smoking killed 78,000 people each year in France and that eight million smokers worldwide would die each year by 2030 if nothing were done.According to the World Health Organization, one person currently dies every six seconds due to tobacco — nearly six million people each year.“My target, with plain packaging, is not long-term smokers but preventing young people from starting to smoke and for these people the plain packaging has an impact,” said the minister.Several countries have recently passed legislation to introduce plain cigarette packaging — laws that have met with fierce opposition from the powerful tobacco lobby.Australia was the first to introduce plain packaging legislation in 2012 with Ireland, France and Britain following shortly afterwards.In Australia, some studies have shown that the rate of young smokers has dropped following the introduction of plain packaging. The tobacco industry counters that high tobacco excise duty is the reason for the decline. Britain and France are poised to introduce plain packaging from next year.France has one of the highest rates of under-16 smokers in Europe and, in addition to the plain packaging measures, Touraine also announced last year that smoking would be banned in playgrounds and in cars with passengers under 12.Tobacconists in France staged protests in several regions against the measures.center_img Tweet Share BusinessHealthInternationalLifestylePrint Global conference pushes plain cigarette packaging by: Associated Free Press – July 20, 2015last_img read more

Vet suggests permanent ban on Luzon pork

first_imgIn ordering a 90-day ban in October, Mayor Jerry Treñas said ASFreaching this city is possible. Iloilo City is a major entry/exit point ofinter-regional conveyance through the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan,Iloilo and Iloilo International Port in Barangay Loboc, Lapuz district. The city government ordered a three-month temporary ban on livepigs, hog carcasses, pork, pork products, and by-products from ASF-affectedareas in October. In proposing the permanent ban, Forteza pointed out that cityremains sufficient in pork produced locally or sourced from Mindanao and Cebu. In fact, he said, Iloilo City remains ASF-free. There is no known vaccine against ASF but it does not pose a health riskto humans. The Food and Drug Administration should investigate this, hestressed. The task force has over 40 personnel.Forteza also said its operation is estimated to cost P1 million every quarter. Iloilo City, according to Treñas, is No. 3 in terms of frequency of shipcalls annually (11,853), No. 4 in cargo (491,719 metric tons) and No. 4 inpassenger traffic (2.4 million). ILOILO City – To protect this city from the African swine fever(ASF), the City Veterinary Office is recommending a permanent or an extensionof the 90-day ban on pork and pork products from Luzon and ASF-affectedcountries.  ASF causes high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhages, and death amongdomestic and wild pigs, thus it is a threat primarily to the hog industry, thento industries that deal with pork. It also threatens food security. “We looked if worth bala angP1 million…and we feel that it is very important,” said Forteza. “We will recommend to the Sangguniang Panlungsod to make permanentthe ban, or extend it. This needs an ordinance,” said Dr. Tomas Forteza, city veterinarian. But he did not discount the possibility that some pork and porkproducts from Mindanao and Cebu may actually be from Luzon. Forteza said the city government also formed inOctober a task force on ASF to, among others, inspect markets and secure thecity’s entry points from the possible entry of pork from ASF-hit areas. “There is an urgent need to adopt preventive measures to protect the hogindustry of Region 6,” stressed Treñas./PNlast_img read more

Duterte accepts ABS-CBN apology but…

first_imgMANILA – President Rodrigo Duterteaccepted the apology of broadcast giant ABS-CBN for not airing his paidcampaign advertisements during the 2016 national election. The measure would then give a two-yearextension of the TV station’s franchise. A joint resolution is treated like abill, which must be approved by both the House and the Senate before it can besigned by President Rodrigo Duterte./PN Over at the House, Cebu Cityrepresentative Raul del Mar has filed a joint resolution extending ABS-CBN’sfranchise until June 30, 2022. “I will cross the bridge when I getthere,” the President later said when quizzed by the media. “But I will notinterfere with the Congress. The critical move of the measure is with the Houseof Representatives.” “Angbatas, sinasabi ‘pag wala kangprangkisa ‘di ka pwede magpatuloy ng broadcast. If a provisional authorityis issued, ‘yan po ang authority na pwedeng gamitin,” Drilon said in aninterview by DZMM. The President also said during theinterview that he does not have a hand on the quo warranto petition filed bySolicitor General Jose Calida against the network before the Supreme Court. President Rodrigo Duterte says he accepts the apology of the country’s leading broadcast company, ABS-CBN, two days after its officials testified before a Senate panel on issues surrounding the network’s franchise renewal. PCOO However, the Chief Executive was notcommittal when asked by reporters following his speech at the Malacañang Palaceif he will sign a measure extending the franchise of the network. Drilon said the proposed measure willbe submitted to the Senate Committee on Rules, but he admitted that a concurrentresolution does not have the “force and effect of law,” unlike a jointresolution.center_img On Wednesday, Senate Minority LeaderFranklin Drilon filed a concurrent resolution urging the National TelecommunicationsCommission (NTC) to grant ABS-CBN Corp a provisional authority to continue itsbroadcast operations until June, 2022. The provisional authority should rununtil June 30, 2022 or at least until Congress approves or junks ABS-CBN’sfranchise bill, according to Drilon. “Since there are only 11 session daysleft before the next adjournment of Congress on March 14, 2020, both the Houseof Representatives and Senate need additional time to review, assess anddetermine whether or not ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation shall be granted therenewal of its franchise,” the joint resolution read. The current ABS-CBN franchise is setto expire on May 4, 2020, and not March 30, according to Department of JusticeSecretary Menardo Guevarra saying that Republic Act 7966, which granted it,only became effective 15 days after its publication on April 19, 1995. “Angproblema nitong sa SolGen, once he makes an official statement that thereis violation of law then I cannot just tell him to stop,” President Dutertesaid. “But Calida does not report to me.” The Ilonggo lawmaker has earlier fileda joint resolution seeking to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise until the end of 2022as the House of Representatives have yet to start tackling measures granting afresh 25-year franchise to the network. “I accept the apology, of course,”President Duterte in response to the network’s apology that was read by ABS-CBNPresident Carlo Katigbak during the Senate hearing on Monday.last_img read more